Since the recent government announcement that firms with over 250 employees will have to reveal their pay gap, the issue of gender equality has rarely been out of the headlines. 150 years since the delivery of the petition for women’s suffrage to parliament, a report by the Fawcett Society reveals that the majority of people in the UK believe that a more equal society between women and men would benefit both the economy and themselves personally.
The Sex Equality: State of the Nation 2016 survey of over 8,000 people has revealed a broad support for gender equality across all ages and genders. Most interestingly, the report found that support for equal opportunity for women and men was highest among men, with 86 per cent of men wanting the women in their lives to have equality of opportunity with them, compared to 81 per cent of women.
Key findings include:
• nearly 9 in 10 men want the women in their lives to have equality of opportunity with men;
• over a third (39 per cent) of men believe that they would benefit if we had a society where men and women are more equal;
• 7 in 10 men believe a more equal society between women and men would be better for the economy; and
• 6 in 10 people believe that men in top jobs will not make room for women unless they have to.
While the overall outlook of the survey is positive for gender equality in the UK, the survey reveals that while resistance to women’s equality is small, the power of this group is significant. Those who make recruitment and interviewing decisions are more than twice as likely to be against gender equality as the overall population.